Certain networks even air reruns of poker tournaments, and unless the people watching those are doing so with a fellow degenerate who hasn’t yet seen it and can be conned into placing a losing personal bet on the outcome, Groupon won’t help. That’s a sadness only a one-on-one pep talk with Phil from “Modern Family” can fix.
Fortunately, the sports calendar also has built into it quite a few stretches that represent sensory overload, if not DVR overload. We are in one such stretch right now — World Cup final on tap, NFL camps opening soon, Major League Baseball full-throttle, etc. — and it’s even more bountiful than scheduled, thanks to LeBron, Melo and the Great Kevin-for-Klay Debate making the NBA a quasi-relevant part of the conversation. Today, we’ll stick to baseball, though.
We’re just past the midway point of the season, which means now is the time to discuss All-Star snubs, the All-Star Game, the obligatory and mythical Midseason Awards, and World Series favorites. All of which is also known as killing time by beating to death topics that, intellectually, most us realize are of little consequence.
But let’s play along anyway. Three All-Star snubs jumped out at me when the teams were announced: Buster Posey, Tim Hudson and Joe Mauer.
Posey because he’s a legitimate superstar in the game, and those guys should be locks unless they’re hurt or stinking it up. Hudson because his numbers merit inclusion and I’m supremely biased, and Mauer because he’s a Minnesota legend and the Twins are hosting the game. If he’s not somehow added to the American League roster, Bud Selig is an idiot. Oh, wait.
Home-field advantage to the winning league of the All-Star Game sparks outrage every year. Enough, already. Yeah, it’s dumb. But so is anyone thinking home-field advantage means much in baseball. The Metrodome used to be where there really was a significant home-field advantage, but that didn’t stop the A’s from beating the previously unbeatable-at-home Johan Santana there in the 2006 AL Division Series opener. More specifically, Barry Zito beat the Twins, and that’s the point. If a Cy Young-caliber stud in his prime is dealing, you could be playing anywhere in the world. The stud wins.
Now about those midseason awards. Ridiculous concept, but fun nonetheless. I won’t bore you with my picks in every category in both leagues, but here’s a vote for Mike Trout for AL half-MVP. The more you see of him, the deeper you fall in love. Just a crazy package of skills. Jose Abreu for AL half-Rookie of the Year. Duh. Hudson for NL half-Comeback Player. From career-threatening, turn-your-head-it’s-too-gross-to-watch injury to dominance at 38 in less than a year? Wow. And let’s go with Angel Pagan for NL half-MVP.
What, you got a problem with the Pagan pick? Not if you’re a Giants fan, you don’t.
And finally, World Series favorites. I’m sorry, but I just can’t do it. Too much season left, too many variables in play, too many trades yet not consummated. This is, like naming award winners in July, an exercise in ridiculosity.
So is making up words, like I just did with ridiculosity. But 10 bucks says you use it within the next 24 hours. And another 10 says that guy in the wraparound white-frame Oakleys with the yellow Izod and a cheesy porn ’stache wins the next hand in that poker tournament on TV in the corner.
(Saw it last week!)